Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 In Review

In which I intersperse these questions with my favorite pic I took from each month. Or my favorite meme. Haven't decided yet.

January: Ik this isn't a great pic, but it captures my AZ skies <3 td="">

What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Oh gosh a lot! I drove by myself, helped run a music merchandise booth, went to a 2 week music camp, went to a singing convention, went to NQC, went to Las Vegas, stayed in a hotel room by myself, visited parts of Texas I had never been to when we drove to AZ, started college, and played for a gospel group WHAT

Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make one this year?

Let's see, my New Year's goals for last year probably went horribly. I didn't have great blog posts, I didn't record all my arrangements, I didn't meet my Goodreads goal, BUT I did stay connected to most of my long-distance friends. Also, I made it a goal to play for a gospel group, but kinda "gave up" on that goal cuz I knew I couldn't put it together myself but then God was like BAM here ya go!

I'll probably make a Goodreads goal. I've found a consistent library schedule, at least for winter break... And I want to get back to journaling. I'm not promising anything on the blog. There are also several music goals I want to tackle, but those kind of have to stay on hold until I learn the songs for this Fine Arts Competition I'm accompanying for...

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Kinda. A girl who was in my dad's youth group when my dad was a youth pastor many moons ago and now goes to our church had the cutest little girl who my mom watches sometimes.

Did anyone close to you die?

Unfortunately, yes. She was a new friend I had met less than a month ago, and she was such an encouragement to me for the short time I knew her. That was a hard week.
February: I got to meet my fave pianist!
What countries/states did you visit?
Okay, y'all ready for this? Let's go west to east: California, Nevada, Arizona (duh), New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee (duh again). I ALMOST got to Alabama, and Lord willing, when this publishes, I'll be in Georgia!!!

What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

A financial aid scholarship... I could always use more patience. Possibly a full-time gig playing for a group but idk if that will happen.

What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory?

July 10 - The day I met some of my best friends

Did you move anywhere?

Yes, from Phoenix to Nashville, and I do not recommend any moves, but particularly cross-country ones. Bad for the emotions, constitution, digestion, and any other -tion in your body XD
March: The Pat Tillman Bridge between Nevada and Arizona
What was the best month?
April was fun because I got to hang out with my school friends a lot, graduated high school (!!), and got to go to California to hang out around southern gospel music!! And July was fun because half of it was at music camp, and I wish I could stay there forever.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting paid to play the piano for my regular job and for a gospel group. Also, I've managed to drive to another state by myself so there's that.

What was your biggest failure?

Probably wasting time and not sleeping like I'm doing right now

Did you suffer illness or injury?

Not really amazingly. Everyone else in my family got sick but I literally had no time to get sick and I told my body we couldn't do that so I didn't really get sick!

April was so fun! The Lemon Hills in California

What was the best thing you bought?

Well, the tuition for my music camp probably. But I also bought tickets to NQC and a ferris wheel that was way too expensive but way too fun.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Eh the nation's. The world's. Christians at times, mostly including myself.

Where did most of your money go?

hahahahahahah Vol State, textbook dealers, and gas

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Um music camp, NQC, Great Western Fan Festival, New Year's Eve!!!
May: Not gonna lie, May was horrid
BUT I did go to the zoo, see friends, and drink lots of slushies

What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?

Oh gosh, this is hard because living in Nashville lets me go to so many XD Probably NQC because there were so many good artists and I got to hang with friends, but maybe the Great Western Fan Festival because I got to work behind the scenes and learned sooo much!

What song/album will always remind you of 2016?

There's this group called Cana's Voice that put out an album that I listened to sooo much this summer. Also, my friend Trevor released his piano album, and the group I played for released their album so lots of good 2016 music vibes.

Compared to this time last year, are you:

1. happier or sadder?  Happier!
2. thinner or fatter?  Um maybe thinner because I don't have time to eat lol
3. richer or poorer?  Richer, I think...

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Sleep, read, play the piano, sleep

June: Nashville is such a beautiful city with awesome public spaces!

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Freaking out, stressing out like I did literally 3 hours ago

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Like I said up there somewhere, Cana's Voice is so great to listen to. I also discovered Harry Connick Jr this year, and he's pretty great! Also, my piano teacher, another great musical discovery, has a group, and I love that album so much!

How did you spend Christmas?

My Grandma came over on Monday before Christmas, and then we went to my other grandparents' house Wednesday-Saturday, and got a trip to Dollywood in! (and season passes so my joy cannot be contained!!!!). We spent a quiet day at home and church Christmas Day. Opened presents, ate entirely too much, and just enjoyed each others' company.

How are you spending New Year’s?

Like I said, Lord willing when you read this, I'll be in Georgia at a singing convention till MIDNIGHT, and then I'm driving back to a friend's house so she can play piano at her church the next morning, and then I'll probably drive home and crash. rip my sleep schedule. Not that it was alive anyway...
July: There are natural bodies of water in TN with grass near them
I don't understand how this is possible
Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
I hate talking on the phone, so this would again be my college... But I love texting and Snapchat saves my relationships

What was the best book you read?

Ok, I could have read more this year. I really could have. I just kind of took a hiatus when we moved and then school started. But now that I've got my own library card and have discovered that my library actually has a lot of books, I plan to read a lot more next year. 

That being said, I read a lot of good books this year, but most of them I read over 6 months ago so here goes my faves from what I remember and Goodreads. 

Fiction: North and South 
Nonfiction: either God's Smuggler or Home by Julie Andrews

What was your favorite TV show?

The Flash! My name is Barry Allen, and I am the fastest man alive!

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No, but there's probably people I don't like as much.

August: idk fam so here's a pic of my grandma's dog by her cool barn

What did you want and get?

A new laptop, a record player!

What did you want and not get?

Financial aid for college but I can't complain cuz God provided, and I'm so blessed!

What were your favorite films of this year?

Chariots of Fire is a great movie I rediscovered. I've only seen it 2x cuz it's sooo long, and I have the attention span of a 10 year old when it comes to movies. Also, Rogue One was spectacular. Also, tonight a friend introduced me to the 1966 Batman and that is the most hilarious movie ever. It's like a parody of Batman, and it's awesome!

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 18, regretted it for like a week, hung out with cool 18yo peeps, and resigned myself to adulthood. I actually graduated the day before my birthday, and I got to go to California to help with a concert so that was fun!!! Also, I ate really good burritos.

September: I went to my first singing convention
and played backup piano lol
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
If I like it, nobody else does. Also, I hate boots because they make my feet feel clunky and loud, but I can't just wear flats without socks or anything because apparently that's not what one does in this part of the country in the winter and I resent that greatly. Sorry, but had to get that out there.

What kept you sane?

Basically just God. Also Snapchat streaks.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Ya know y'all, a lot of celebrities died in 2016, but I didn't really know any of them until Carrie Fisher AKA Princess Leia died today, and that kinda punched me in the gut. Like I can't really believe it? Anyway, Daisy Ridley and Julie Andrews are still my faves.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Idk. This sounds like a complaining question, because 2016 had its very rough patches, but you can't really fix those without rewriting my life and God's plan so idk

October: October was great!!
Here's the view from the aforementioned ferris wheel
What political issue stirred you the most?
The election that I legit only discuss with like 3 people because all sides make me mad.

Who did you miss?

Like everyone

Who was the best new person you met?

I met so many awesome new people, and I got immersed in a totally new culture of singing schools and singing conventions. I can't really say. I met my piano teachers, and they're pretty great. I have my music camp squad that Skypes like every week, and I'm part of a new community of people who have all had the same theory teacher at different schools. So I've met so many awesome people! (I feel like I answered that question like Donald Trump, but one person, seriously??? I ain't in a relationship!)

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.

Learn to pack fast because God can open amazing opportunities out of nowhere, and you gotta be ready to go!
November: So basic. Building leaf piles

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I had one like 3 months ago, but I forgot it. So here's one:

Life is good cuz God is.

Life is good cuz I'm His.

Cuz as long as you have God, life is good

Five personally significant events of 2016:
*do not put getting a 200 day Snapstreak*
Graduating high school
Helping at the Great Western Fan Festival
Attending Stamps-Baxter School of Music
Playing for a gospel group
Starting college

Five things I want to do in 2017:
I'm actually planning to write a whole post on this, but here's some stuff off the top of my head
Attend more singing conventions and schools, including the national convention
Explore downtown Nashville more
Make more friends near my town
Play piano more for a group (this is a total God-thing tho)
Manage my time better

Five people I’d like to know better in 2016:
My music camp friends
Singing convention friends/acquaintances
Anyone I can learn anything from
College friends
YOU reading this!
December: Jesus gave me blue skies for Christmas!!!!
2016 seems to be the beginning of so many things for me: new friendships, new music opportunities, new educational endeavors, and a new city. Sure, maybe 2016 was a hard year for the world in general, and I wouldn't live through May again for a thousand bucks, but, man alive, God really grew me through 2016 and blessed me with so much, and I'll always look back on parts of it as the best times of my life. Maybe in 2017, I'll stop writing run-on sentences on this blog... Thanks for sticking with me through this year pals!

Here watch this:


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016!

Fave Christmas Song

First off, Merry Christmas! I hope you and your family/friends have fun celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus, one of the craziest, most wonderful events in the history of the world! Every time I think hard about the Christmas story, it gets so much more amazing!

This year, I've been thinking a lot about how Jesus was 100% man AND 100% all-powerful, all-knowing God AT THE SAME TIME. Like how??? He had to go through the awkwardness of whatever the Jewish equivalent of Jr High is, and he we know he cried, and was lonely and scared. The Bible says He grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man, but as God He had all the wisdom in the world, had all the stature (power) and didn't need favor with God and man! Yet He came to earth to grow in those things!

But why? Why would someone love me so much to come from the most perfect place in all of time to come to a place where He was lonely and scared and ridiculed and sad and died a horrible, horrible death? And He obviously knew his purpose on earth from the story of him in the temple, but did he always have a realization of it? Was it always in his mind that He was God incarnate? Was he aware as a toddler? It's weird to think of Jesus as a cute little boy just barely walking around and coming out with one-liners that all toddlers do, but He was a little boy!!!! It just blows my mind and brings me to two realizations:

1) God loves me so very very much. Idk why, and I sure don't deserve it, but He does, even though I could never in a million years give Him back that same love. There's a song that says Jesus was born to die, and he was, but I think that more importantly he was born born to love us, through his death AND his life. Think about it, if Jesus hadn't loved people in an extraordinary way through his life, would his death really have been that extraordinary?


2) Jesus "was tempted like as we are." He knows what humans go through. He literally grew up on this earth. And while specific situations vary from generation to generation, the basic human emotions and feelings are consistent. He's been on this earth. He knows just how horrible it is. I mean, He would have always known that because He's God, but He EXPERIENCED it! Sure, I know a lot about the London Blitz but I wasn't there wondering if my house was gonna get bombed or if my little siblings were okay in the country. Jesus experienced our emotions!!! But HE NEVER SINNED. Idk how guys. Hopefully, I'll learn in Heaven. Right now, I just have to accept it if I ever wanna sleep at night!

Anyway, that's what I've been thinking about this Christmas. I'm overwhelmed by just how much God loves me!! I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas surrounded by the unfathomable love of Jesus!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

November 2016: Thxgiving and Cold (which I'm not thankful for)

Well, last week I had plenty of opportunities to write this post, but did I? Obviously not. So it's 9:50 and I have to get ready for tomorrow and get ready for bed, but I'm gonna write this post.

Plain ol' life happened this month. I turned in my honors project (finally), registered for next semester's classes (guess who gets to drive 45 min 2x a week *insert upside down smiley face cuz even with this emoji thing they don't have that...*), and finals are next week. (Actually, at the finishing of this post, I'm done with all my homework for this semester and only have finals next week!!!!)

I'm currently listening to the Carpenters' Christmas Portrait on repeat because it was on sale for $8 and Carpenters ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I could listen to Richard Carpenter play Christmas music all day. My other fave Christmas artists are Pentatonix, Beegie Adair, Harry Connick Jr., and all the classics like Andy Williams and Bing Crosby. I'm SO happy for Christmas music!!!!!!!!

It got cold (like the 60s/40s (FAHRENHEIT)), and I hate it but at least I have an ice remedy: a concoction of 2 parts rubbing alcohol to 1 part water in my car, and it really makes the ice disappear. But your car also smells like rubbing alcohol...

I got to go to a singing in the next county over. It was tiny, but a lot of fun. I also got to play first piano (not that there was a second one there...), which has been a goal of mine. I didn't do great, but it worked ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The election happened. I voted. We don't need to talk about it...

There will be no shortage of GIFs/memes over the next 4 years tho

I actually got to make/jump in a leaf pile with some kids I was babysitting!!
This was the height of a small child, not a tree just FYI
It's really hard to get a pic of a leaf pile when the ground is covered in leaves
I discovered this video. The dude's not actually talking in Russian. He's vocalizing like when you forget the words to a song so you're like "I really can't stay, but baby, it's cold outside. Doo bee bee wee doo, but baby it's cold outside."

Thanksgiving came and went and you can read about that here.

Ok, is this dressing or stuffing where you live??
This is a really short post, I know, but my life just wasn't that interesting this month. Next month, it will be a whole lot more interesting what with Christmas concerts, and Christmas, and possible New Years shenanigans. I'm looking forward to making my year-end wrap-up post, and also reading a lot more now that school's out. I got my library card yesterday, but you can only check out one thing the first time :( I picked a book I've read in 24 hrs before (The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie), and I'm about to go pick up some other books in a little bit.

Looking forward:
School's out: 12/8
STAR WARS: 12/16
Christmas: 12/25 (duh)
(Y'all we compared 2016 to 1968 in Literature the other day because apparently 1968 was one of the worst years in American history  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

Hope you had a very thankful November even if you don't celebrate American Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Best Holiday of All the Holidays

From Holiday Inn, I believe
Well, today's the day. My favorite holiday, American Thanksgiving! (Probably followed by Independence Day) I don't really know why I like Thanksgiving the best. (Probably because I like to be different than everyone else...) It probably has to do with it being just a chill day (AKA why I have time to write this). I'm not a big foodie, but it's nice that the country and families can unite around food I guess 😂 I like the parades mostly, and running the 5K is fun. (I didn't get to this year, but next year I will!) My family in the past few years has had traditions of eating snack food all day then getting KFC or something cuz most of us aren't big meat people. (Thank my dad for going on that veganish diet a few years ago 😂 )

But the real reason I like Thanksgiving is because of what it means. Sometimes it feels like Christmas is swallowed in commercialism and stress of school ending and Christmas parties and programs and buying gifts, and to some extent, Thanksgiving break is overshadowed by school this year. But, especially if you don't have to cook a lot, Thanksgiving is just a day for hanging out and eating together with people you love. Most importantly, you get to be thankful, and everyone everywhere seems to still remember that and takes the time to think of their blessings!

I have so much to be thankful for. Sure, 2016 was a cray cray year and I wouldn't want to live some parts of it over again, but there were so many awesome parts that the bad parts just kinda disappear. And even through the hard parts, God was right there with me getting me through them! He has blessed me with so much this year!

This is kinda gonna feel like last year's list but hopefully, I'm even more thankful this year than I was last year! (Isn't that the point? To every year experience more of life so you have even more blessings to count?)

Anywho, this year I'm thankful for my family. Specifically, my parents and siblings. Man alive, have we been through the ringer this year. But, you know what, we were together. When we didn't know anyone else, when we didn't know how life was gonna work out, when we didn't know where home was gonna be, we had each other. I know we've grown closer together, and I can't wait to see where next year takes us. I'm also thankful for all my other family for loving us and just being cool!

I'm also thankful for my parents for being really supportive of me and trusting me and letting me grow up little by little. I know it's probably been hard on them, but they've been so great!

Secondly, I'm thankful for friends. I made SO MANY new friends this year! Mostly because of music camp this summer, but also just through different opportunities God has given me. I'm also thankful for technology for helping me keep these long-distance friendships up! (Like I'm so blessed that I can message the same person through 4 different messaging services if I want, what?!?)

I'm thankful for the music that God has put in me, and the different avenues He's opened up for me to pursue it. Sometimes I think about how a job in gospel music can ONLY be put together by God, and it's a humbling, yet also joyous fact because I know my future is solely in his hands.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to pursue education and for the jobs to pay for it. Sometimes school, especially right now with 2 weeks left in the semester, can seem like it's gonna drive me crazy, but I'm thankful that God has provided me with a vehicle to get to school, a brain that can think to go to school, and a drive to get things done NOW but like after I watch 10 YouTube versions of the Bee Movie 😂

(Well, on that emoji note, I'm thankful for the Blogger update for looking crisp and clean and giving me EMOJIS!!!!)

I could go into so many more things I'm thankful for, but most importantly, I'm thankful for God and His love for me. Sometimes (a lot of times...), I can be a selfish brat, but He still loves me and provides for me. He knows my future and holds me in the palm of His hand. I could never do anything to deserve this love, but I am sure thankful for it!! I don't really know how to write about what God has done for me. Maybe I should try sometime; it would be a good exercise. But even though these words don't feel adequate, let's just say that God has done so many great things in my life that my heart is just overwhelmed. God's been so good, y'all!

Well, my mom should be back any minute with the food from Food City (high class y'all 😂) and we'll sit down and eat and maybe watch some movies, do some homework, maybe even read a book, who knows? Have a great Thanksgiving! And if you're not in America, then have a great weekend!

P.S. I'm grateful for all of you for sticking with me and reading what I feel like writing. Blessings on you and your blogs!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Random thoughts that aren't long enough for their own blog post - October 2016

Oh look, this is on time!

Cuz this is what I was looking at on Oct 1...

Ok, not a lot happened in October. Well, a very BIG thing happened, but I talked about that in my last month in a review which ended up being like a month and a half in review, but ANYWAY

In case you missed it, I got the opportunity to sub in as a piano player for a gospel group for 2 concerts! It was so great, and I can't wait till I get this degree so I can do that full time!!!

Also, I went to my first Nashville album party which was really cool! The songs the group sang were GREAT, and my piano teacher KILLED it on the piano! This also happened:

Anyway, life just went on for the rest of October. To make up for the lack of stupendiosity (I totally didn't make that word up), here's some random thoughts I had rolling around in this draft for a wee bit:

As I was typing this, I was on the brink of something super exciting in my life, getting to start fulfilling one of my biggest dreams (see above)! Anyway, I was terrified and excited, but I'd thought I'd share some epiphanies that I had that day.

Han Solo having an epiphany...

1) Sure, there's always the question "What if I can't do it?", but there's also the question "What if I CAN?" Personally, I tend to think I'm not ready to do stuff. I'm not skilled enough, I don't have enough experience, I'm just plain not prepared! So I ask myself worst case scenario questions like "What if these people don't like you?" or "What if you're in way over your head?" or "What if you flat out can't play?" but there's also a flip side to this question. "What if these people do like me?" OR "What if I can play well?" or "What if I can actually do this?!" Like there's a 50/50 chance I could actually do this!!!! (And I DID do it!!!)

2) Anyway, leading from that point, God wouldn't open up opportunities if I wasn't ready/wouldn't learn something from the experience. The verse "Faithful is He that calleth you who also will do it" has meant a lot to me the last few months. God wouldn't call my family to move across the country if He wasn't gonna enable us to do it. God wouldn't call me to get a degree if He wasn't gonna enable me to do it! And man alive, God wouldn't call me to fill in at the last minute for a group if He wasn't gonna enable me! It's just a great verse that really encourages me!

3) Leading on from THAT, we had a guest pastor at my church who talked about being a missionary in China. He brought up Revelation 3:8 which says that God set an open door in front of the church that NO man can shut. How cool is that?!?! Now, I gots a lot of stuff I wanna do in my life. Big things, little things, things that can ONLY happen if God orchestrates like everything. (isn't that how everything in life should be tho?) That verse really encouraged me today that if God has something in store for me, He'll open the door and NOBODY or NOTHING can close it!!

WOW that went deeper than I was anticipating, but that's what I've been thinking about this month. Basically, I'm learning to trust God (who's not tho) and be optimistic! God has really shown Himself to me in the past few years, and I look forward to seeing what He's gonna do next! Thanks for reading this and being awesome and here's my favorite internet video this week. Be as happy as this dog!

Coming up:
Cold - PTL it's not cold yet!!!!! (it's like 80 and everyone's complaining but I've had a taste of this cold and nope nope nope I'm counting these 80 blessings)
Thanksgiving break - AKA imma watch 22 episodes of a TV show in a week
Christmas break - AKA sleep for a month
Christmas - Umm maybe a record player maybe a new phone maybe every Roger Bennet (piano player) CD in existence
Sometime soon I hope - I find out if Uncle Sam has come through for my college tuition next year..

So, what's up with you? Did anything big happen in October for you? Thanks for getting to the bottom :)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

September 2016: Ummm September was kinda awesome

Live look at the graph of the craziness of my life

Read the title folks, that says it all. September was crazy awesome! I did so many cool things and got to see/meet so many new friends. I can't even begin to explain how awesome it was!

Seeing my friends from Phx, some of the nicest and most generous people I know!!!!
College is going pretty well. I like always have homework. It's not even that hard of homework it's just that it's always there!!! But I just accept it as part of life and move on... What I like about my classes is that I can do them at my own pace. I can't get behind, but if I have extra time, I can get ahead, so getting ahead is like the all-consuming goal of my life (I'm not even kidding). But it has actually come in really handy with my crazy life lately, so I think I'll keep doing it XD

Between work and homework this is me...

Oh, I started teaching piano this month! I have 11 students, and I'm having a blast! (And yes, teaching piano is good money and you get to be around a piano all day so win/win) However, the lessons are all on Wednesday starting at 7AM and ending around 5PM and then I have church in the same building 2 hrs later, so it's a long day. (I do have breaks!) Thursdays are actually the rougher days, just trying to recover from Wednesdays!!!
The Island at Pigeon Forge as seen from the top of the ferris wheel

I got to go to the Tennessee State Singing Convention this month (September)!!! It actually happened super fast like most things happen to me right now. I didn't think I was gonna be able to go, but then 2 hrs before I left I got a ride, and 5 min before I left I had a hotel room XD It was so much fun! I got to see a lot of friends I hadn't seen in a while and I got to sing convention music and play second piano (!!!)
Me just playing second piano for dayzzz (or 3 songs)
Just a primer, a singing convention is when everyone gets together to sing out of these books that have Christian songs with, kinda involved, 4 part harmony. You sing for like 2 hours, have lunch, and come back to sing some more. It's a lot of fun! There are 2 pianos: a lead one, and then the second that just kind of backs up the lead. I got to play second piano which was really fun, but also kind of scary!!! My biggest non-southern gospel piano goal is now to play first piano at a convention! The Alabama Convention is next month, and I'll hopefully get to attend that!

Typical convention song
The rest of September was pretty low key until NATIONAL QUARTET CONVENTION BABY!!!! So quartet convention is the place that ALL the big southern gospel artists go for a week every year. I got to see some of my best friends from Phoenix, music camp, and southern gospel music!!! It was a blast. I legit got to hang with friends for 2 days and hear crazy good music and switch seats on a high ferris wheel (I do NOT recommend) and spend a lot of money and get second row seats and just basically have the time of my life!!!

Oh look I took a decent pic of something...
Well, that was the end of September. Life settled down for approximately 48 hours, and then my piano teacher texted me that the gospel group her boyfriend sings with needed a fill-in pianist, and life took off again!!! Last Sunday, I got play at TWO dates for a group with a live band (bass, drums, piano) which was soooo fun! It was a little stressful trying to cram the charts into my head and hands and keeping up with the set list, but really fun a rewarding! I don't know where my "career" is gonna go from here, but man does God have some plans for me!!!

View from the piano...
So that was September/beginning October. I got no promises on coming back to blog, and I haven't been reading a lot besides school books lately, but I read all your lovely blogs! Keep up the good work y'all!!!

Coming up:
In 10 minutes - Algebra homework
Legit who knows because that's my life
Alabama State Singing Convention - 11/11-12
Thanksgiving - AKA the week I'm gonna binge watch the Flash Season 2 because my papers should all be done by then
Christmas - Call me a hipster but I want a record player

Monday, September 19, 2016

It's Weird How...

It's weird (not) how I don't really feel like going through related GIFs/pics for this post so here's a pic of a waterfall from our Labor Day trip...

It's weird how I was supposed to post like 3 weeks ago and didn't...

It's weird how my, and it looks like a lot of my fellow bloggers', priorities have switched from blogging to other pursuits. Growing up I guess. Education and work (aka $$$) have to take priority for me for now. That means some fun things and even good things for my future, like practicing piano, get put on the back burner sometimes.

It's weird how getting paid to do something you love makes you feel awesome.

It's weird how sometimes I think of a place in Phoenix, and I can see the road, and I feel like I could just drive to it, but I can't. Or I'll see on social media that someone is in California, and I think, oh I'm not that far from them, but then I remember that oh yeah, that's on the opposite side of the country...

In that vein, it's weird how I LIVE here. If you've moved recently, tell me, did you ever feel kind of weird, like unbelieving that you actually live and belong in a place. I have a lot of roots here already, but sometimes it just feels like I'm watching my life from above, not that I'm actually in it?

It's weird how regularly talking to friends who live far away makes you so happy!

It's weird how much of a culture shock I have sometimes. I'm basically the same distance from Nashville that I was from Phoenix, but man, oh, man it does NOT feel that close. Also, especially in my city, customer service in restaurants and stores is not a big priority which is a BIG shock at times. It's just different. Not necessarily in a good or bad way, but it feels weird sometimes.

OUTSIDE Springfield, the food is pretty good...
Also, apparently that's dressing not stuffing
Ignore the carrots...
It's weird how my life is starting to disconnect from my family's. I guess that's a part of growing up too. I have a lot of interests and friends in different circles that take me outside my family's sphere. I guess it's also that way because my dad's work used to be the church and school, and so we all saw each other all day and all knew the same people, but now I see people every week who've never seen my parents and probably never will!

It's weird how in 4 years, I could literally move anywhere in this country, or the world?! Because of what I want to do with music, I probably won't move very far from here, but it is a cool thought!

It's weird having a friend who wants to be a funeral director and knowing more about funerals and that stuff than I probably should...

It's weird how a lot in my life works out last minute. God must know how much I like to have stuff planned out...

It's weird how Tennessee doesn't have good slushies and I miss slushies so much I could almost cry, but they do have Cookout, which is good, but not slushies :(

It's weird how God has shown me people who went through/are going through similar situations as I was. There's this guy in some of my classes who moved here in June (like me), couldn't get scholarships because of date deadlines (like me), almost had to pay out-of-state tuition (like me), and is basically dealing with the same "moving" stuff. I also have some friends who are getting ready to move without a job for their dad and because God just showed them it was time! (Oh how that sounds familiar!)

It's weird how I'm going to be tired till December 8. Actually, I'll probably still be tired after that...

Yeah, I know it's not healthy to drink Mtn Dew at 8 AM
But 11 piano lessons in 1 day calls for drastic measures!
Hopefully, I'll be back in a few weeks with a September Month In Review. I've done some fun stuff, and I'm looking forward to doing even more fun things in the next few weeks!

Disclaimer: "Weird" isn't the right word for a lot of this stuff, but you know, themes are important!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

What's Up!

Hey folks, I know I suddenly disappeared off the face of the earth, but I thought I'd pop in to say hi! I went to write a post the other day, and I realized I didn't really have anything, and I didn't feel like thinking of something... So I didn't post...

Anyway, college has started (Journalism major), and by next week, I plan to be in a routine (praise the Lord). Hopefully, this means I'll be blogging more, but we'll see. Maybe I'll write about the life and times of an online learning discussion board because those are really awkward... And I really need to catch up on my Goodreads reviews.


Right now, I only have class Tuesday and Thursday from 8:00-12:30 (ewww I know, but it's only 2x a week!) So today feels like a Friday which is GLORIOUS!!! And a reason to procrastinate. In reality, I don't HAVE to do anything because all my homework is done for this week, but you know me, there's always something I could do...

I know you're DYING to know what classes I'm taking so here ya go:

Fundamentals of Speech Communication - I thought I was gonna hate this class, but it's actually really fun. My professor is awesome, and I like that group of classmates the best so far!

College Algebra - I enjoy doing algebra, so this has been pretty fun. Also, because the class homework is done completely online, the professor told us we could finish as fast as we could if we wanted!!!!! I'm a very self-motivated, let-me-get-this-done-right-now person, so that's amazing!

Experiencing Literature - You would think this would be my favorite class, but I don't know yet. We did have a very great discussion on Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne today. This is the class that will make me think the most, and if any class is gonna drive me back to the Bible, it's gonna be this one!

Spanish - All online. So far so good. It's the second beginner class so nothing too hard. I was 5 points away from the intermediate class, but in a way that's a good thing because I already know most of the stuff in this level!

Music Appreciation, the class I was the MOST excited about, got cancelled because there were only three people in that time slot :(

I'm excited for college because I'm 1) making friends 2) getting a degree 3) actually enjoying a normal person experience (as opposed to my tiny high school :D) and 4) getting it done! Y'all know I REALLY want to be a southern gospel pianist full-time, so this journalism degree is for me to use as a freelance writer someday and to fall back on if piano doesn't work out. Some days I'm impatient to get done, but right now I'm trying to enjoy the process! It's actually not that hard because I'm enjoying my classes and work, but once the novelty wears off, contenment might be a struggle!

Also, I'm playing piano for my church's school choirs AND I'm teaching piano there! I'm getting paid to do what I love, and that's SO AMAZING! I'm also doing a freelance writing project, so that's really fun too!

All in all, life is pretty good and actually stable right now. I know that could change at anytime (just cuz life!), so I'm trying not to take it for granted! How have you all been?

See ya next week, hopefully, for the August Review!

Friday, August 5, 2016

So What's It Like In Springfield?

In lieu (I love that phrase actually) of a July recap because it was basically just music camp which you can read about HERE or a book post because I'm only just getting back into the reading swing of things, here's a list of thoughts I have about Springfield. Also, because I've lived here for exactly 2 months, I'm totally qualified to write about Springfield so everything I say is absolutely correct and my opinion will never change. Ever. (That was a sarcastic disclaimer FYI) (Oh yeah, and all of these pics are mine just FYI)

Panorama of downtown 

Here we go:

1. First off, it's hot BUT IT'S NOT 117 BLIMEY DEGREES HOT SO CHILL. Sorry, but here's a conversation either I have or overhear once a week:

Person: Oh you're from Phoenix? It's really hot there!

Perham: Yeah.

Person: But I mean it's hot here too! And we have humidity!

Perham member: *smiles and nods because we have given up explaining to people what I'm about to explain to you*

OKAY it's hot. And it's humid. Which is sometimes miserable. BUT you won't literally die if you go for a run outside!!! I'm pretty sure doing a run between 6:30 AM and 2:30 AM (you read that right) in Phoenix would put you in literal health danger, but although it's humid and you basically take a shower when you run, YOU DON'T DIE. Also, I've heard that in September it cools off! WHAT A CONCEPT!!!! XD

First day we were here

2. Guys, it's almost August and I haven't almost burned myself on a piece of hot metal what!!!! (It's really fun to tell people that we have to put hot pads on doors to open them in summer cuz then they just look at you like Really? and you're just like yes, the struggle was real!)

3. Humidity stinks. I know I just got done with that whole rant thing, but humidity is dumb. I try to remember if my hair wasn't frizzy in Phoenix but I don't know.


5. I also have COLD water from my sink. All my Phoenix peeps just take that in for a sec...

6. I've been to so many awesome southern gospel concerts here! Just ahhhh! Last week was the first week I hadn't seen a concert in over a month! It's so cool to be in the center of gospel music guys!

Old Hickory Lake Beach

7. Lakes are cool which I already knew but there's so many of them here!!!! And the one near me has this beach area that's so awesome!!!

8. Ummm people have natural bodies of water in their back yard. (NOT CANALS) I mean even we have a kinda creek that FILLS UP when it rains what?!

9. It rains like every other day, but it still hasn't lost its charm! It's actually about to rain right now! Sometimes it rains really hard but other times you can go on with your day without even knowing it's raining! In Phoenix, you immediately know it's raining cuz it sounds like it's gonna murder you and everybody's freaking out XD

10. We had a tornado warning yesterday. Long story, there was no tornado but the sirens went off! It's so weird that there are sirens somewhere close loud enough that the whole neighborhood can hear!!!! I hope I never hear them when it's really storming!

11. I haven't had a Polar Pop from Circle K in 2 months and that's the saddest thing about my life right now. Well-meaning friends try to recommend Sonic slushies or Icees BUT IT'S NOT THE SAME :(

Nashville skyline

12. This is what I'm now calling the 10/4 rule. Basically, in Phoenix, I could get to way more places in 10 minutes than I can here. I can think of like 8 shopping/restaurant complexes within 10 minutes of my house in Phoenix but there's only like 3 here. (That's not bad, ik. Just a comparison) Also, in Phoenix, when something was 5 miles away, it was gonna take you around 5 minutes to get there. Here, if something is 5 minutes away it could take 15 minutes to get there!

But back to the 10/4 rule. While there are more places within 10 minutes in Phoenix, there are more places within 4 hours here. I can get to Birmingham, Atlanta, Knoxville, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, Memphis, Indianapolis, and so many more big cities in around 4 hours!! I heard that 72 of America's most visited cities are a day's drive from Tennesse!! It's amazing! Howevs (like whatevs) if you travel 4 hours from Phoenix, you're either in the mountains, Las Vegas, or in the middle of nowhere in the desert XD

13. There's a lot more plant life here (no duh), but because there's so much of it, it's not as interesting I guess? Don't get me wrong! There are beautiful flowers and trees and my backyard is green rn what! But it's not as memorable as seeing a palo verde tree or cactus or palm tree or orange tree in the middle of the desert.
INSIDE at the Opryland Hotel.
Nashville doesn't actually look like this XD

14. Umm I see robins everyday. This sounds really stupid, but hang with me. Growing up, I read so many books that talked about robins and robins eggs, but I NEVER SAW ONE. So I have a mini (internal) freakout whenever I see one now. I guess I just thought they were mythical creatures for the first 18 years of my life XD

15. I'm having a bit of big city to small town culture shock. Don't get me wrong. Nashville is big and soooo beautiful, but you don't really see the city or feel like you're in it until you're there. Although I was about the same distance away from the actual city of Phoenix as I am from Nashville, I still felt like I lived in the city.

The capital building
16. Nashville is such a beautiful city. There's a beautiful park through the center, and the capital building is gorgeous! There's a river with a really pretty bridge, and it's very walkable! It's growing too! 85 people are moving here A DAY! Before I even knew we were moving, I had always wanted to move to Nashville if I ever had to move, and here I am! Sure there are hard things and a little bit of culture shock, but I really love the area! Someday, though I would like to move a little closer to all the action. But there's plenty of time for that!

The "Batman" building
17. Seriously, God has really helped me with this move. I've actually taken it pretty good emotionally, and I haven't had a real bad bout of "homesickness". I'm sure it's coming though. These supposedly "mild" winters are probably gonna kill me come January D: Overall it's been a great experience. I'm still growing my connections, but college will really help with that!

So how about you? Have you ever made a drastic move? How have you coped with "homesickness" and such? Are you a small town or big city person?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Stamps Baxter 2016: AKA 2 of the Best Weeks of my Life!!!

Well, that was fun! I just got back from 2 weeks spent at a southern gospel music school, and it was even better than I could have imagined! I made so many new friends, and learned a lot too! For example:

Having no accent is basically having an accent "Oh, you're from Tennessee!" "Well, she's originally from Phoenix. That's why there's no accent!"

Also, when people tell you to put the "Arizona" back in your voice...

I haven't gotten to hang around people in my own age group AND with similar interests in a looooonnggg time, so these past two weeks were amazing!

When the squad takes on Nashville...<3 td="">
I've heard that the friends you make in college are the ones who stay with you all your life. And I think the friends I've made these past few weeks will be the ones I connect with for a while. Or at least I hope so! And ya know, trying to keep a Snapchat streak sorta helps with that ;)

It's so weird to think that in like 10 years, I could be performing many of the people I just spent 2 weeks with! That's one of the craziest things I can think of!!!!

God is ALWAYS moving! One of my friends, in fact, the girl who was supposed to be my roommate (long story) got saved at camp! And she wasn't even supposed to be there!

Who needs college when singing school can teach you all the theory you'll ever need to know!

Trying to fit stuff you could practice for a week into ONLY 2 hours is exhausting and will make you hate life until you walk to the cafeteria.


Man alive can those southern boys play their piano!!! Here's a link if the video doesn't work!

Conversations after lights out go ALL OVER THE PLACE!!!! (And no, I totally don't know this from experience because I was ALWAYS in bed by lights out and definitely didn't have to survive the second week on six hours a night!)

Snapchatting makes uber long rehearsals better!

Pardon the horrible quality of my front camera...
The country seems so much smaller over here, guys!! Like I'm between 3 and 10 hours from most of the friends I made, and I can think of like 3 events where I'll get to see at least some of them!

Don't take 8AM college classes! #CodysWordsOfWisdom (But I actually have to so boo)

Steinway pianos aren't my favorite but transitioning from playing one EVERYDAY to playing my Yamaha keyboard is gonna take some work!

Probably one of the best selfies I've ever taken with THE BEST choir director
and a photobomb by the best guy and girl from Minnesota I know XD

"Picking" (aka improv) with other musicians is kinda stressful but really, really fun! (Like Top 10 Musical Experiences of My Life fun!)

I probably had 5 Top 10 Musical Experiences of My Life in the last two weeks...

Affirmation from your family and long-time friends means a lot, but when people you've only known for 2 weeks believe in you and like your music and tell you that you "beasted" it, that means soooo much! And then when people you look up to and respect tell you that they think you can do what you've always wanted to do, just ahhhhhhhhh!!!

When you can't get Chick Fil A, you order Papa Johns and PARTAY

So girls don't have falsetto, and boys get crazy range which is totally not fair!

Apparently there's a whole "sub-culture" of singing schools and singing conventions that I've missed out on my whole life!!!!! But not anymore folks! Tennessee State Singing Convention here I come!

Don't take the food you eat at home for granted! Even if it's not a five-star meal or "home-cooked" so to speak, IT'S STILL BETTER THAN COLLEGE CAFETERIA!!!! (Although they had the best grilled cheese, chocolate milk, and apple juice I've ever had....)

Most of my meals were this random...
When you're at a Southern Gospel school with a bunch pianists trying to play quick and easy duets, OF COURSE you're gonna play I'll Fly Away 500,000 times!!!

Finally, I'm NOT ready to be a Southern Gospel pianist. And that may sound discouraging, but to me it's awesome because I think God has given me the tools to get me to the point where I WILL BE ready! I don't know why really, but the fact that I'm not ready is kinda encouraging because it means I still have time to keep working and get better!

Don't scream at us cuz we're children of the king and we all failed the test!
Well, I hope you enjoyed that trip behind the scenes of my life the past two weeks! And if you're here from Stamps, welcome! Feel free to look around and leave a comment or two :)